News: Ben Duke on becoming a Countryside Choreographer

Friday 22 May 2015 by Clare Evans

Ben Duke - 'Paradise Lost'.
Photo: Zoe Manders

Ben Duke, Artistic Director of Lost Dog Dance talks to the Guardian about the choreographer’s eternal search for more space and moving to the country to find it.

“I just need space. That is what you hear when someone is about to break your heart – or when you’re talking to a choreographer. There is not much we can do without it. We dream about it. When I lived in London I moved into a small basement flat and, on my first night there, I dreamed that I discovered an enormous room hidden in a kitchen cupboard. It was huge, empty and had a smooth wooden floor. I checked the cupboard when I woke”.

Although he’s since found the space he dreamed of in a co-housing community in East Sussex (which boasts enviable views of oak trees, The South Downs, and three horses), he struggles to find the audience for experimental dance theatre outside of London.

“I am still a pretend country person, though. I am often on the train to London. I do not feel that my work is of much relevance to the wider rural community that I live within but am not really part of. I’m like a Dorset microbrewery that sells all its beer at Borough market in London. My support is mainly from London-based organisations and the company perform mainly in London and less frequently, in Brighton”.

Read more: The Guardian, 19 May 2015

Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) is at Battersea Arts Centre on 26 and 27 May as part of an exchange of shows with The Place

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